, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 161-169

Macromolecular syntheses and the course of cell cycle events in the chlorococcal algascenedesmus quadricauda under nutrient starvation: Effect of sulphur starvation

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Daughter cells of the chlorococcal algaScenedesmus quadricauda were incubated under photosynthesizing conditions in a sulphur-free medium. The course of the cell cycle under these conditions was changed in daughter cells which differed in their stage of development. In absence of sulphur, advanced daughter cells with two nuclei and 2 or 4 genomes passed a cycle identical with that of control in sulphur containing medium. Each cell yielded eight binuclear daughter cells. With less advanced daughter cells (one nucleus and 1 or 2 genomes) restriction of RNA synthesis occurred near to the end of the cell cycle and protein synthesis ceased two hours later (practically at the time of the protoplast fission). The last round of DNA replication found in the control culture was not initiated in sulphur-starved culture and uninuclear daughter cells with one genome were released.

If the daughter cells coming from the starved populations were kept further in the sulphur-free medium, macromolecular syntheses were dramatically restricted. Only photosynthesis continued to produce starch at a similar rate as in normally grown cells. Thus, a very large amount of starch accumulated. Supported by these reserves, starved cells refed with sulphur passed an entire cell cycle in the dark and divided into eight daughter cells. In sulphur-supplied cells, both in the dark and in light, RNA, protein and DNA synthesis started without any delay in a similar way as in the control culture. Competition for sulphur reserves occurred between the growth and division processes; the former were preferred in the light and the latter in the dark.